Monday, September 29, 2008

Obama at the CBC Dinner

Courtesy of

I really like this speech. It's rare that I agree with every word that proceeds from Barack Obama's mouth. Even during his speech to the NAACP. Didn't like everything I heard. But this is one time where I have to cheer and concur every word he says.

Now, let me say to any white person who happens across my blog. All African Americans want is equality. All we want is justice. That helps everybody. That helps all of us. And it's time that you stop letting those like the ones who've plunged us into this financial crisis take advantage of your racial "resentment" to keep you down, too.

Don't Vote Against McCain Just Because He's White

Especially when there are so many other legitimate reasons.

Full disclosure:
  • I saw the clip scrolling through Jack and Jill Politics.
  • I wholley disagree with Bill Maher when it comes to religion.

Other than that, laugh it up!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wanda Sykes Cracks Me Up!!

I plan to starting discussing some foreign issues soon. American politics has come to depress me. I find it quite distressing that McCain/Palin with their lies and terrible policies might actually win.

Not that I won't mention the election at all or talk about race anymore. Just that I want to broaden my horizon. What I've found by chatting with people online from all over the world is that the issues confronting everyone are just about the same - everywhere there is racism, sexism, greed and capitalism. And, of course, everybody is suffering from poor decisions of George W Bush; and, to be quite honest, American hegemony overall. So yes, I will deal with the issues while including an international flavor. Yes, that means I'll have to start reading more articles about foreign affairs and what's going on in other countries. But that's fine. I look to learn as much as my brain can hold.

But until then . . . Wanda Sykes is hilarious!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"The Language of Race"

September 22, 2008
Editorial Observer

Barack Obama, John McCain and the Language of Race

By Brent Staples

It was not that long ago that black people in the Deep South could be beaten or killed for seeking the right to vote, talking back to the wrong white man or failing to give way on the sidewalk. People of color who violated these and other proscriptions could be designated “uppity niggers” and subjected to acts of violence and intimidation that were meant to dissuade others from following their examples.

The term “uppity” was applied to affluent black people, who sometimes paid a horrific price for owning nicer homes, cars or more successful businesses than whites. Race-based wealth envy was a common trigger for burnings, lynchings and cataclysmic episodes of violence like the Tulsa race riot of 1921, in which a white mob nearly eradicated the prosperous black community of Greenwood.

Forms of eloquence and assertiveness that were viewed as laudable among whites were seen as positively mutinous when practiced by people of color. As such, black men and women who looked white people squarely in the eye — and argued with them about things that mattered — were declared a threat to the racial order and persecuted whenever possible.

This obsession with black subservience was based in nostalgia for slavery. No sane person would openly express such a sentiment today. But the discomfort with certain forms of black assertiveness is too deeply rooted in the national psyche — and the national language — to just disappear. It has been a persistent theme in the public discourse since Barack Obama became a plausible candidate for the presidency.

A blatant example surfaced earlier this month, when a Georgia Republican, Representative Lynn Westmoreland, described the Obamas as “uppity” in response to a reporter’s question. Mr. Westmoreland, who actually stood by the term when given a chance to retreat, later tried to excuse himself by saying that the dictionary definition carried no racial meaning. That seems implausible. Mr. Westmoreland is from the South, where the vernacular meaning of the word has always been clear.

The Jim Crow South institutionalized racial paternalism in its newspapers, which typically denied black adults the courtesy titles of Mr. and Mrs. — and reduced them to children by calling them by first names only. Representative Geoff Davis, Republican of Kentucky, succumbed to the old language earlier this year when describing what he viewed as Mr. Obama’s lack of preparedness to handle nuclear policy. “That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,” he said.

In the Old South, black men and women who were competent, confident speakers on matters of importance were termed “disrespectful,” the implication being that all good Negroes bowed, scraped, grinned and deferred to their white betters.

In what is probably a harbinger of things to come, the McCain campaign has already run a commercial that carries a similar intimation, accusing Mr. Obama of being “disrespectful” to Sarah Palin. The argument is muted, but its racial antecedents are very clear.

The throwback references that have surfaced in the campaign suggest that Republicans are fighting on racial grounds, even when express references to race are not evident. In a replay of elections past, the G.O.P. will try to leverage racial ghosts and fears without getting its hands visibly dirty. The Democrats try to parry in customary ways.

Mr. Obama seems to understand that he is always an utterance away from a statement — or a phrase — that could transform him in a campaign ad from the affable, rational and racially ambiguous candidate into the archetypical angry black man who scares off the white vote. His caution is evident from the way he sifts and searches the language as he speaks, stepping around words that might push him into the danger zone.

These maneuvers are often painful to watch. The troubling part is that they are necessary.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We Are the US of America, not the World

I disagree with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on theology, being a Christian.

But he is right about the need for justice and righteousness, and the fact that the USA is doing as much, if not more, damage than good. How it is that we call ourselves a "Christian" nation, but can't fall the simplest of Christian ethics, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is beyond me.

And while I'm all for peace. As an unbeliever pointed out to me, even Jesus said he "did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

So all and all, and with the exclusion of religion, tell me where Ahmadinejad is wrong or how he lied. Don't just say, "He's crazy," and I'm some bigot for agreeing with him, tell me what he said that was untrue or unjust.

Since Everybody Else Is Talking about It, Let Me

Here's what I basically feel about it. Money does not trickle down. Urine trickles down. Vomit trickles down. And that's the basic problem with conservative economics that include low taxes, especially for the rich, and dereguation - the other 95% of us get pissed on.

Here's the thing. Money flows up. That's how the rich get rich. And with conservative economic plans they get even richer, in fact, the past 8 years has seen the greatest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich since the Golden Age.

Had they bailed out the homeowners in the beginning, the banks would've had the money to keep from going under. But now, the banks will for the most part stay afloat on the taxpayers' tab, (Which is why I'm for progressive taxes, when you mess up, you should be the one to pay to clean it up.), and people are still losing their homes. Genius, huh? Or does it make you wanna vomit?

This is what James Rucker of Color of Change has to say about it:

The Bush administration is finally paying attention to the disastrous state of our economy. They didn't act as many of us lost jobs, health insurance, and even our homes--with historic levels of middle-class Black wealth being devastated in the process.1 Now that Wall Street is wobbling, they're ready to come to the rescue, at our expense--to the tune of $700 billion.2

Bold steps are clearly needed, but the Bush plan is plain wrong:

It prioritizes protecting the corporations that got us into this mess, their executives and shareholders--while doing nothing to protect everyday Americans who've been overwhelmed with debt, which is the root of the problem.

It provides no accountability--giving the Treasury Secretary unlimited power to spend our money with no oversight from Congress.

There's a good chance it won't actually work. And when it doesn't, they'll be back looking for more money from taxpayers.

There are alternatives to Bush's plan, but he's pushing it through like it's the only choice. Democrats control Congress, which means they, not the Bush administration, can set the terms for this bailout. At this point, stopping the plan might come down to the Senate. Your senators need to know that we're paying attention, that we're not buying Bush's scare tactics, and that they shouldn't either. There was so info about contacting your Senator, but they were my senators and you need to contact your own. - No1KState


1. The Subprime Swindle, The Nation, June 26, 2008

2. "Administration Is Seeking $700 Billion for Wall Street," The New York Times, September 20, 2008

3. "Bridge Loan to Nowhere," The Nation, September 20, 2008

4. See reference 1.

5. "What Wall Street Should Be Required to Do, to Get A Blank Check From Taxpayers," Blog post by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, September 21, 2008

6. "Lawmakers Left On the Sidelines As Fed, Treasury Take Swift Action," The Washington Post, September 18, 2008

7. "Democrats eye bailout--and more," Politico, September 19, 2008

See what I mean? The debate can't be about race.

And don't read the comments. They only display that even the most "liberal" white can be racist, or at least so insensitive to the plight of African-Americans, that s/he might as well be racist and probably is. - No1KState

Obama can't escape race questions
Poll gives distressing news about bigotry in voting booth

September 23, 2008

BY MARY MITCHELL Sun-Times Columnist
F or all of his efforts to transcend race, Barack Obama's campaign keeps running smack into the color line.

According to the recently released AP-Yahoo News poll, Obama's race could cost him 6 percentage points -- enough for him to lose in a closely contested race.

The poll of white Democrats found that one-third of them harbor "negative views toward blacks," and suggests that a percentage of voters may turn away from Obama because of his race.

"There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago, but that doesn't mean there's only a few bigots" said Stanford political scientist Paul Sniderman, who helped analyze the survey, according to the AP story.

As it stands, the presidential election is stacking up to be a squeaker.

But don't expect Obama to make another race speech.

Throughout this long campaign, Obama has been loathe to talk about race. During the primary, I once asked him point-blank if racial prejudice would play a role in the election and he told me "No."

"If I lose this campaign it won't be because of race. It will be because I failed to get my message out," he said.

At the time, there was some basis for his optimism.

He had won in Iowa and in several other states that have overwhelmingly white populations.

Still, Obama could wash the feet of lepers and some white people would not vote for him because he is not a white man.

But I expect the Obama camp to point out the positive aspects of the poll's findings rather than risk alienating white voters by confronting the exposed bigotry. His campaign points out that -- according to the poll -- "more whites apply positive attitudes to blacks than negative ones," and "two-thirds" of Democrats said they would vote for him.

The fact that racial prejudice is lower among college-educated whites living outside of the South goes a long way in explaining why Obama has had a difficult time winning over blue-collar whites.

Frankly, it is interesting that the poll was taken in the first place.

Technically speaking, Obama isn't a black man. He's biracial. His mother was white and he was raised by white grandparents.

You could argue that the very premise of the poll reflects a bias since it purports to glean insights about the Obama candidacy which, frankly, just don't fit.

If Obama wins the White House, it won't prove that America is ready for a black president as much as it will prove someone other than a white male can be elected to the presidency.

Because of his unique race, Obama has been between a rock and a hard place throughout this campaign.

At first he was dogged by speculation that he wasn't "black enough" for some black voters. Now he is being cast as "too black" for some white ones.

Because Obama has embraced his black heritage, he is likely being subjected to the same biases ordinary African Americans face.

For instance, 40 percent of all white Americans surveyed said they hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, believing them "lazy" "irresponsible" and "complaining."

The pollsters assume that people who hold these negative views about blacks are "significantly less likely" to vote for Obama than those who don't have such views.

Despite this latest race poll, Obama continues to avoid these troubled waters.

"Look, if you are asking me are there some people who might not vote for me because of my race? Of course. Are there some who might vote for me because of my race? You bet," he said during a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday night.

"I think ultimately, though, the question's going to be decided by a guy or a woman who is working hard every day trying to save enough to send their kid to college, trying to pay the bills."

Obama has spent most of his campaign trying to sell himself to white voters, but he can't change the skin he is in.

The Democrats should take heed.

If the party lets the bigots determine the outcome of the election, it will likely lose black support for decades to come.

Change the Debate

We all saw the raggedy primary debates. Especially that atrocity committed by ABC. SNL tried to make the debates watchable, and of course, millions of people watched them, but did they really address the matters you care about?

I've made peace with the fact that right folks just ain't gonna talk honestly about race during this debate. So, it's okay if racial injustice isn't mention or Obama was to walk the fine line all us "colored" folks know about. But, I mean seriously, can we talk about some real issues?

Read the report. Sign the petition.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bringing Smart-Sexy Back!

The Silver Rights Movement - big props to my homie Segun Olagunju. Uh . . . now, that's not him in the video. That's John Hope Bryant, whom CNN says you need to know.

I agree with everything he says. The kids in the inner-city need better role models than athletes and entertainers - I could launch into the racism that plays into that, but we'll save that for another day.

Today is about becoming a member of the Silver Rights Movement. It's about promoting financial education, which everyone could use, but the inner-city desperately needs. - I mean think about, most of those people don't wanna be there and would do anything to get out. You wanna tell me who benefits from their economic vulnerability? Do you realize that as a nation, we spend more on prisons than on education? And that lots of these prisons are private and amount to a form of neo-slavery?

But, back to the video, this is the kind of thing I love to see happening. Now, if you ask me, the US and corporate America owes its black citizens trillions of dollars. But, as we all know, white America isn't ready to accept the truth of what this country has done to us, much less to make any amends for it. And the way I see it, we black folks, like always, are gonna have to do it for ourselves.

But, back to the video, watch it a few times if you need to. At least, more than once.

Here are the websites he mentions at the end:
Operation Hope
And I think this is an idea of what he says is to come:
5 Million Kids

Monday, September 15, 2008

SNCC: White Privilege and the Election (Corrected)

Subject: FW: white privilege and the election
Date: Sunday, September 14, 2008, 12:49 PM

Essay by Tim Wise

For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are
constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list
will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and
everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal
matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every
family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar
"challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters
of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like Bristol
Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll
"kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun,
and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law
to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like
Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to
after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions
your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who
did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got
in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than
most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same
number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready
to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with
laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and
constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in
the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding
fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from
holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and
the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that reading
accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the
Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it),
is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people
immediately scared of you.

White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist
political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto
was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family,
while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so
she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately
think she's being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work
they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for
civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think
you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a
small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a
class she took in college--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with
you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway,
because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in
these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political
campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician
who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from
the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors
say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are
going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job
of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and
who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's
punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just
a good churchgoing Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black
pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense)
that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks
about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you're an extremist
who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a
reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick
question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the
queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem
overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at
all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing
racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a "light" burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone
to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the
time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes,
inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion,
just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know,
it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same,
which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Let The Glory of the Lord Rise Among Us" Cause It's Sunday Y'all!

I could hear the song as soon as I was out of the car (thanks Ms. Gerald, for the ride). Sherika Eskridge was leading the praise team in "Let it Rise," by William Murphy. After hugging the two greeters in the lobby, I entered the sanctuary this morning for the first time for a Sunday service in months. And let me tell ya y'all, the girl can sang. I ain't mad at her at all. And I like the song. It has a good melody and a good beat.

But what I like most is that the song indicates you have to make a decision. God wants to rise in us, but we have to decide to let him. And that's the case with so many things in our lives. God wants to fix it for us, we just gotta decide to let him. So, here's what I hear first coming into the church.

Plus, Sherika and the praise team just sound plain ol' good singing the song. Our church musicians ain't no people you wanna sleep on either. Especially my little cousin on the drums.

LET IT RISE - William Murphy III

Then Donnie Thurman, Jr sang "You Are Good," by Israel and New Breed.

You Are Good - Israel & New Breed

After those two songs, my body wasn't exactly feeling up to speed, my spirit felt like pure gold.

Now, Pastor Smith preached about the fact that "Jesus is the God of my Storm." Which is to say, whenever you're going through something, God is still in control. The passage he came from was Matthew 14:22-27. Whenever you going through a problem or a bad situation, you need to "Look for Jesus." And if you think you see him but you're not sure, then"Listen to/for Jesus." Once you've identified Him, "Lean on Jesus." And finally, when it's all said and done, "Learn from Jesus."

Now of course, if you read the scripture and/or had heard the sermon, it makes perfect sense. But, I'll give my own testimony. Why? Because this is my blog and I can.

My favorite part of the scripture is that Paul walked out on water with Jesus. Which to me means, even in the midst of the storm, with God, we can still do the impossible. If you've read this blog regularly and know me personally, you know I've had chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome for the past 5 years. But even through the condition, I can still do something impossible. That brings joy and strength to my soul.

And that's what I've decided to do. I've decide to let God rise in me, to do something impossible. And I guess unless you know the Lord yourself, you may not understand, but the joy and comfort and relief of knowing God is with me through all things; and, that his power and anointing don't just up and leave because I'm in a tough situation causes my Spirit to overcome my broken body. In fact, the weaker I become, the stronger the Lord gets. Hallelujah! And Hallelujah! And Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! And let his glory rise among us!

In fact, the weaker I become, the stronger I get (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). And I'm determined to rescue the sheep that have been marked for slaughter (Zechariah 11:4). I'm tempted to talk junk to the enemy, because the truth of the matter is, no there's nothing that can happen that can stop me (Isaiah 54:17).

I'm going to change the world. I'm going to liberate those who have been oppressed. And I'm not just talking about my usual diatribes against racism. I'm not just talking about sexism. But something's gotta be done about capitalism and poverty and war. And I'm bound and determined to do it. I just can't see myself doing anything else. That's what I feel, and I just can't help it.

As the Lord says, "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it" (Habakkuk 2:2). In the middle of my storm, I'm going to walk on water to. Just watch and see.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Must Read: Mississippi's Ballot Trick

Be sure to read this. This is about voters' and democracy. And no one's questioning the intelligence of Mississippi's voter, we're questioning the legality of Mississippi's governmor and secretary of state.

I 'clare, if it weren't for the date of the editorial, I think it's 1968. ~ No1KState
September 11, 2008


Mississippi’s Ballot Trick

Mississippi’s governor, Haley Barbour, and its secretary of state have come up with a particularly cynical dirty trick for the November election. Let’s call it: “Where’s the Senate race?”

Defying state law, they have decided to hide a hard-fought race for the United States Senate at the bottom of the ballot, where they clearly are hoping some voters will overlook it. Their proposed design is not only illegal. It shows a deep contempt for Mississippi’s voters.

Republicans have long had a lock on the state’s two Senate seats. But this year, former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat, has been running close to Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican, in the polls. Mr. Wicker was appointed to the seat by Governor Barbour in late December after Trent Lott stepped down.

Mississippi election law clearly states that federal elections must go at the top of ballots. And the secretary of state, Delbert Hosemann, plans to list the state’s other Senate race — incumbent Thad Cochran is running far ahead of his Democratic challenger, Erik Fleming — where it belongs, right below the presidential contest.

But Mr. Hosemann argues that because the Wicker-Musgrove race is a special election to fill the remainder of Mr. Lott’s term, he is free to place it at the bottom, below state and county races.

Mr. Hosemann is insisting on that placement even after the state attorney general’s office notified him that his ballot design violates state law.

Mr. Hosemann’s ballot also violates the Voting Rights Act, which requires that changes in election procedures that could make it harder for people to vote — and this certainly fits that bill — be cleared in advance with the Justice Department.

This is not a dispute over aesthetics. Mr. Hosemann’s decision could easily change the outcome of the Wicker-Musgrove election.

Some voters, including the elderly, the least educated and first-time voters, have more trouble than others navigating complicated ballots. Many of these voters are more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans. And, yes, Governor Barbour and Mr. Hosemann are both Republicans.

A local election official is suing to put the Wicker-Musgrove race back where it belongs. The state court judge who is hearing the case on Thursday should order that the Senate race be placed at the top of the ballot. Even if she does the right thing, we fear, that will not end the matter.

The case is likely to wind up, on appeal, in Mississippi’s Supreme Court. Voting rights advocates are worried that the Republican-leaning court will decide the case on partisan lines, rather than on the law.

If the state courts do not provide relief, supporters of fair elections should take the case to federal court. They will need to move quickly since time to prepare ballots is fast running out. Mississippi’s voters have a right to a ballot that conforms with the law — and that is not designed to win a Senate seat by trickery.


I'm about to go into how much I love my church family. (This was initially written Wednesday morning, right after Bible study, but some trouble editing . . . )

But a quick thing about McCain/Palin: Aside from the fact that their names are John McCain and Sarah Palin, most of everything else I've heard them say is either misleading or outright lying.

Now. My church. I love it! I love my church family. I love the Spirit. I love the teaching. Don't get me wrong, it ain't perfect. "But if you're looking for a Christ-like Church, PGBS is were you can end your search!" In fact, right now I'm trying to find a way to get the young adult women going strong again as a collective group. But that's because of how much I love my church family and sisters.

I love my pastor and his family. Especially his wife. My pastor's wife is a dynamic woman. A spiritual force in her own right. I love her teaching, her encouragement. And once, before everyone became aware of the severity of my illness, I appreciated her admonishment to stop missing so much church. Her caring boldness is something I hope to emulate.

I love the assistant/children's pastor and his his family. Especially his wife. She has a humor that's kinda like mine. Very cutting. And she's apt to laugh at anything. I remember one of my visits to the emergency room at the hospital where she works. When she heard I was there, she came down and kept me company for a while. That's something I won't forget. Though, she keeps asking for stickies every though no one's given me any fried apples or the treats she makes every Christmas. (hint, hint)

I love the church secretary. I have a number of spiritual advisers but only one person who badger me about using my CPAP. She's both an adviser and a badgerer, and I love her for it.

Then, there's the other ladies of the church. Consider yourselves all included because I dare not go into names. They treat me as either a daughter, a sister, or a grandchild. I most especially love being spoiled as a grandchild. My grandmother died when I was 14, so now, anything approximating the affection and grace she had for me delights my heart.

And one lady especially encouraged my heart today. You'd have to be a strong Christian yourself to understand the exchange, so I can't go into much detail. But she believes as much as I do that I will change the world. She believes as I do, that "with Jesus on my side, things will work out fine."

And I have great respect for the men of the church. The deacons take their jobs seriously. The trustees and janitors and multimedia handlers all take the job seriously. And to them, I'm either a sister, a daughter, or a granddaughter. When it came time for a church remodel, most of it was done by the men themselves. Now, don't get it twisted. My church ain't some patriarchal haven of misogyny. I just appreciate when men do what the Bible says men 'posed ta do.

And let me not leave out the children. They treat me as a not-to-old adult. I can scold them, encourage them, and when necessary, get a piece of candy.

But, I guess what I love most about my church family is just the family for its own sake. "I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord." "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together." And that's what I love so much about my church family. When any of us are together, like this morning's Bible study where maybe only 20 or 30 people show up; or just one or two church ladies, there's a spirit there of acceptance. Of love. Or togetherness. And I delight in it so.

By the way, today's Bible study lesson was basically about the prophesies and events surrounding Christ's entering Jerusalem on a donkey's colt - which, for all of you who accuse Jesus of encouraging stealing - had been prophesied long before Jesus was born. It was about Jesus's humility in coming in on a colt rather than a stallion. We covered a number of issues. "You just oughta been there."

But what I like best is even during the Wednesday evening Bible studies, as well as the morning studies, and Sunday schools, it's more of a discussion than a lecture. I learn not just from my pastor or assistant pastor; I learn from the lady sitting closer to the front, the gentleman sitting a few pews in front of me. I even, at times, get to share a little myself.

And I love it.

But you have to understand, I didn't grow up at Palmer Grove. I grew up at Ramseur Baptist, a church named after a school that was named after my great grandfather. I have lots of memories of Ramseur, both good and bad. I grew up with me and my cousins singing in the front row of the choir with my brother play the drums set up in front us. (And my aunts thumping us on the back when we cut out of line. I can still feel the dull pain.)

But, that's why I love Palmer Grove so much. I don't feel like I left family, I feel like I gained even more family. It helped that I had known most of the congregation since I was young, but leaving a church and joining another is not an easy thing to do (hint, hint Obama-haters). Palmer Grove gave me so much love from before I even officially joined the church, they made the transition easy.

That's all I got to say. But let me give a few shout outs to the church's secretary, my Sunday school teacher, and the lady who encouraged me so today. And Sis. Liz and Min Thurman, I love you all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Updated: Carolina 44 - Rutgers 12

North Carolina 44, Rutgers 12
UNC (2-0) 0 17 21 6 44
RUT (0-2) 3 3 0 6 12

Final7:30 PM ET, September 11, 2008
Rutgers Stadium

North Carolina routs Rutgers for best start since 2000

1st Downs 18 23
Total Yards 378 383
Passing 221 243
Rushing 157 140
Penalties 3-24 5-35
3rd Down Conversions 8-16 0-9
4th Down Conversions 0-1 0-1
Turnovers 0 4
Possession 30:35 29:25

North Carolina Rushing
Little 18 71 0 26
Draughn 8 44 0 17

Rutgers Rushing
Robinson 16 82 0 25
Brooks 7 42 0 13

North Carolina Receiving
Tate 4 138 1 69
Nicks 6 63 2 18
Rutgers Receiving
Britt 8 109 0 24
Brock 5 47 1 18

Scoring Summary
FG 10:00 San San Te 34 Yd 0-3
FG 13:26 Jay Wooten 43 Yd 3-3
TD 09:28 Hakeem Nicks 9 Yd Pass From T.J. Yates (Jay Wooten Kick)
FG 05:10 San San Te 32 Yd 10 6
TD 04:54 Brandon Tate 69 Yd Pass From T.J. Yates (Jay Wooten Kick) 17-6
TD 11:40 Brandon Tate 12 Yd Run (Jay Wooten Kick) 24-6
TD 09:55 Bruce Carter 66 Yd Interception Return (Jay Wooten Kick) 31-6
TD 04:51 Hakeem Nicks 11 Yd Pass From T.J. Yates (Jay Wooten Kick) 38
TD 13:50 Kevin Brock 10 Yd Pass From Mike Teel (Two-Point Conversion Failed) 38-12
FG 07:30 Jay Wooten 29 Yd 41-12
FG 02:58 Jay Wooten 27 Yd 44-

Associated Press
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Butch Davis has North Carolina back on the road to respectability.

T.J. Yates threw three touchdown passes and the Tar Heels won for the first time outside North Carolina since 2002, beating error-prone Rutgers 44-12 in a nationally televised game that pitted Davis against his former pupil, Greg Schiano.

Yates found a wide-open Hakeem Nicks on touchdown passes of 9 and 11 yards and connected on a 69-yard scoring play with speedster Brandon Tate, who also scored on a 12-yard end around.

The Tar Heels intercepted four passes, including three by starter Mike Teel. Linebacker Bruce Carter returned a bobbled pass 66 yards for a touchdown as the Tar Heels (2-0) handed Rutgers (0-2) its worst loss since a 56-5 loss to Louisville on Nov. 11, 2005. Freshman Jay Wooten added field goals of 43, 29 and 27 yards.

The victory was the Tar Heels' biggest since a 52-17 win over Duke in 2001.

The start is the best since 2000 for North Carolina, which is looking for its first winning season since 2001. The Tar Heels were 4-8 a year ago in Davis' first season.

The start is worst for the Scarlet Knights since 2002, when they finished 1-11 in Schiano's second season. It also was the worst home loss since being thrashed 40-0 by West Virginia that same year.

In many ways, the Scarlet Knights looked like the Rutgers of old. They blew pass coverages on all three of Yates' TD passes, had a bad punt lead to a North Carolina score and saw their senior quarterback turn the ball over three times.

By the time the third quarter was over, North Carolina had a 38-6 lead and only a couple of thousand fans from the sellout crowd of 42,502 were on hand for a derisive cheer when Teel threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Kevin Brock.

San San Te kicked field goals of 34 and 32 yards for Rutgers, which came into the season looking for a fourth straight bowl trip. After losing two at home, the Scarlet Knights need to turn things around quickly.

Davis, who hired Schiano as his defensive coordinator at Miami, saw his team improve markedly after struggling in the season opener against McNeese State.

Yates finished 14-of-22 for 221 yards and matched his career high with the three TD passes. Tate caught four passes for a career-best 138 yards. His 69-yard touchdown catch was the longest of his career. Nicks added six catches for 63 yards with the two TDs, tying his single-game high.

North Carolina took control of the game with 38 points in the second and third quarters.

The Tar Heels scored on three straight possessions in the second to take a 17-6 halftime lead.

An interception by cornerback Charles Brown, set up Wooton's longer field goal that tied it at 3.

A 25-yard punt by Teddy Delleganne gave North Carolina the ball at its own 49 on the next series. Five plays later, Yates found a wide-open Nicks in the corner of the end zone for a 10-3 lead.

A 12-yard run by backup quarterback Jabu Lovelace and passes of 16, 11 and 10 yards by Teel led to Te's 32-yard field goal that got Rutgers to 10-6.

On the ensuing play from scrimmage, Tate ran by cornerback Jason McCourty and Yates lofted a pass down the right sideline for the 69-yard catch and run.

North Carolina blew the game open in the third quarter as Tate scored on the end around, Carter tallied on the interception and Nicks had his second TD catch.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Kindergarten Sex

Yes, I'm still tired of politics. But this is egregious.

McCain/Palin are now accusing Obama of wanting to teach 5 and 6 year olds about sex before they even learn their letters.

Well, guess what. I had sex ed when I was a kindergarten, and I can wrap up that days lesson in about a paragraph.

"No one gets to touch you unless you say it's okay. And any part if your body that covered by underclothing, no one at all except your parents or someone your parents tell you is safe should touch you there. And even if your parent touch you there, if it feels uncomfortable, tell a grown up. You can tell me." "Me" was Mrs. Dorsey, my kindergarten teacher.

So, just be advised, if you vote for McCain/Palin, you're voting to leave your children vulnerable to sexual molestation. Just so you know.

(White) Privileged on CWTV

I decided to watch the show because one of the cast members was Allan Louis, who played Dr. Palmer in the movie Stomp the Yard, as Marco, the chef. You know how I am about watching shows with cuties.

But in my calculations to watch the show, I forgot some significant factors that didn't occur to me until I watched the show.

The family he works for is full of white women. A white matriarch, her two granddaughters, and a live-in tutor. (By the by, if any needs to hire a live in tutor, I'm available!) So, Marco, the sexy black chef, is gay.

Not that I'm hating on gays and lesbians. I am hating on this incessant racist belief that any random heterosexual black man poses a threat to a any random white woman.

And on, I like Rachel Maddow's new show.

Monday, September 8, 2008

You Read, You Decide

I've tried to resist things I think are hearsay. But the last time I got word of something not right about Sarah Palin, it turned out to be true. Or, at least, mostly true.And just for the record, if black folks can be racist against other black folks, so can Inuits.

September 5, 2008
by Charley James

“So Sambo beat the bitch!”

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat’s primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.

“It was kind of disgusting,” Lucille, who is part Aboriginal, said in a phone interview after admitting that she is frightened of being discovered telling folks in the “lower 48” about life near the North Pole.

Then, almost with a sigh, she added, “But that’s just Alaska.”

Racial and ethnic slurs may be “just Alaska” and, clearly, they are common, everyday chatter for Palin.Besides insulting Obama with a Step-N’-Fetch-It, “darkie musical” swipe, people who know her say she refers regularly to Alaska’s Aboriginal people as “Arctic Arabs” – how efficient, lumping two apparently undesirable groups into one ugly description – as well as the more colourful “mukluks” along with the totally unimaginative “f**king Eskimo’s,” according to a number of Alaskans and Wasillians interviewed for this article.

But being openly racist is only the tip of the Palin iceberg. According to Alaskans interviewed for this article, she is also vindictive and mean. We’re talking Rove mean and Nixon vindictive.

No wonder the vast sea of white, cheering faces at the Republican Convention went wild for Sarah: They adore the type, it’s in their genetic code. So much for McCain’s pledge of a “high road” campaign; Palin is incapable of being part of one.

Tough Getting People Who Know Her to Talk

It’s not easy getting people in the 49th state to speak critically about Palin – especially people in Wasilla, where she was mayor. For one thing, with every journalist in the world calling, phone lines into Alaska have been mostly jammed since Friday; as often as not, a recording told me that “all circuits are busy” or numbers just wouldn’t ring. I should think a state that’s been made richer than God by oil could afford telephone lines and cell towers for everyone.

On a more practical level, many people in Alaska, and particularly Wasilla, are reluctant to speak or be quoted by name because they’re afraid of her as well as the state Republican Party machine. Apparently, the power elite are as mean as the winters.

“The GOP is kind of like organized crime up here,” an insurance agent in Anchorage who knows the Palin family, explained. “It’s corrupt and arrogant. They’re all rich because they do private sweetheart deals with the oil companies, and they can destroy anyone. And they will, if they have to.”

“Once Palin became mayor,” he continued, “She became part of that inner circle.”

Like most other people interviewed, he didn’t want his name used out of fear of retribution. Maybe it’s the long winter nights where you don’t see the sun for months that makes people feel as if they’re under constant danger from “the authorities.” As I interviewed residents it began sounding as if living in Alaska controlled by the state Republican Party is like living in the old Soviet Union: See nothing that’s happening, say nothing offensive, and the political commissars leave you alone. But speak out and you get disappeared into a gulag north of the Arctic Circle for who-knows-how-long.

Alright, that’s an exaggeration brought on by my getting too little sleep and building too much anger as I worked this article. But there’s ample evidence of Palin’s vindictive willingness to destroy people she sees as opponents. Just ask the Wasilla town administrator she hired before firing him because he rebelled against the way Palin demanded he do his job, or the town librarian who refused to hold the book burning Walpurgisnach Mayor Palin demanded.

Ironically, Palin was pushed into hiring the administrator by the party poobahs who helped get her elected after she got herself into trouble over a number of precipitous firings which gave rise to a recall campaign.

“People who fought her attempt to oust the librarian are on her enemies list to this day,” states Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla resident and one of the few Alaskans willing to speak on-the-record, for attribution, about Palin. In fact, Kilkenny actually circulated an e-mail letter about Palin that was verified and printed by The Nation.

For good measure, Palin booted the Wasilla police chief from office because, she told a local newspaper, he “intimidated” her.

Running on Extreme Fringe Evangelical Views

Sarah Palin drew early attention from state GOP apparatchiks when, during her first mayoral campaign, she ran on an anti-abortion platform. Normally, political parties do not get involved in Alaskan municipal elections because they are nonpartisan. But once word of her extreme fringe evangelical views made its way to Juneau, the state capitol, state Republicans tossed some money behind her campaign.

Once in office, Palin set out to build a machine that chewed up anyone who got in her way. The good, Godly Christian turns out to be anything but.

“She’s doesn’t like different opinions and she refuses to compromise,” Kilkenny notes. “When she was mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t hers. Worse, ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits but on the basis of who proposed them.”

Sound familiar? Palin may well be Dick Cheney’s reincarnate.

Something else has a familiar Republican ring to it: Her tax policies, and a “refund surpluses but borrow for the future” attitude.

According to Kilkenny and others in Wasilla as well as Juneau, Palin reduced progressive property taxes for businesses while mayor and increased a regressive sales tax which even hits necessities such as food. The tax cuts she promoted in her St. Paul speech actually benefited large corporate property owners far more than they benefited residents. Indeed, Kilkenny insists that many Wasilla home owners actually saw their tax bill skyrocket to make up for the shortfall. Two other Wasillian’s with whom I spoke said property taxes on their modest, three bedroom homes rose during the Palin regime.

To an outsider, it would seem hard to do, but an oil-rich town with zero debt on the day she was inaugurated mayor was left saddled with $22 million of debt by the time she moved away to become governor – especially since nothing was spent on things such as improving the city’s infrastructure or building a much-needed sewage treatment plant. So what did Mayor Palin spend the taxpayer’s money on, if not fixing streets and scrubbing sewage?

For starters, she remodelled her office. Several times over, as a matter of fact.

Then Palin spent $1 million on an unnecessary, new park that no one other than the contractors and Palin seemed to want. Next, Sarah doled out more than $15 million of taxpayer money for a sports complex that she shoved through even though the city did not own clear title to the land; now, seven years later, the matter is still in litigation and lawyer fees are said to be close to at least half of the original estimated price of the facility.

She also worked hard to get voters approval of a $5.5 million bond proposal for roads that could have been built without borrowing. Anchorage may not be the center of the financial universe but, like good Republicans everywhere, Sarah Palin knows how to please Alaskan bankers and bond dealers.

For good measure, she turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots.

Sarah Barracuda

En route to the governor’s igloo, Palin managed to land what Anne Kilkenny says is the plumb political appointment in the state: Chair of Alaska’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC), a $122,400 per year patronage slot with no real authority to do anything other than hold meetings. She took the job despite having no background in energy issues and, as it turned out, not liking the work.

“She hated the job,” an OGCC staff member who is not authorized to speak with the news media told me. “She hated the hours and she hated what little work there was to do. But she couldn’t figure out a way to get out of the thing without offending Gov. Murkowski” and the state Republican Party regulars, some of whom were pissed off they didn’t get appointed.

But ever the opportunist, Palin quickly concocted a way. First, she waged a campaign with the local news media claiming that the position was overpaid and should be abolished – despite the fact that she lobbied Murkowski hard to get it. Then, mounting what she saw as a white horse, Palin raised a cloud of dust by resigning from the OGCC and riding away with an undeserved reputation as a “reformer.”

But when a local reporter dared to suggest that the reformer Empress has no clothes, Palin tried to get her fired.

“She came at me like I was trying to steal her kids,” said the targeted reporter, who now works for an oil company in Anchorage. “I heard she had a wild temper and vicious mean streak but it’s nothing like you can imagine until she turns it on you.”

Not surprising since some of her high school classmates still openly call her “Sarah Barracuda,” Kilkenny insists.

Still, as a Republican Party hack Palin managed to get herself elected running under the false flag of a “reformer.”

And what did she bring to the job? No legislative experience other than a city council of a village of 5,000 people, which is smaller than some high schools in Chicago. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; after all, she needed to hire a city administrator to run Wasilla. No executive experience, except for almost being recalled as mayor. A philosophy of setting public policy based on one word: No.

And what has she done since winning the job?

According to Kilkenny, nothing. Well, nothing other than suggesting the state’s multi-multi-million dollar, oil-generated surplus be distributed to residents and finance future state needs by borrowing money. Gee, doesn’t that sound precisely what George Bush did with the surplus he inherited from Bill Clinton in 2001 and we all know in what great shape Bush’s economic policies left the nation.

It may explain why, when asked by reporters, including me, what she thought about Palin being picked to be McCain’s running mate, her mother-in-law replied with a sardonic, “What has Sarah done to qualify her to be vice president?” Of course, when the woman – said by many I spoke with to be well-respected in Wasilla – was running to succeed Palin as mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her, so that may explain the family tension.

As Governor, Palin gave the legislature no direction and budget guidelines, according to the chair of a legislative committee. But then she staged a huge grandstand play of line-item vetoing countless projects, calling them pork. “They were restored because of public outcry and legislative action,” the aide said. “She vetoed them mostly because she had no idea what they were or why they were important.”

But it was enough to get the McCain, who is mostly unobservant of the world around him anyway, to think Palin has a reputation as being “anti-pork”.

In fact, Juneau observers note that Palin kept her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork ladled out by indicted Sen. Ted Stevens. She only opposed the “bridge to nowhere” after it became clear that it would be politically unwise to keep supporting it, these same insiders assert. Then, Palin fell back on her old habits and publicly humiliated him for pork-barrel politics.

As for being “ready on day one” to be commander in chief, despite the repeated public claims she’s made, the Alaska National Guard commander said that, “she has made no command decisions, other than sending some troops to help fight a few brush fires and march in parades at county fairs.”

“Sambo Beat the Bitch”

“Palin is a conniving, manipulative, a**hole,” someone who thinks these are positive traits in a governor told me, summing up Palin’s tenure in Alaska state and local politics.

“She’s a bigot, a racist, and a liar,” is the more blunt assessment of Arnold Gerstheimer who lived in Alaska until two years ago and is now a businessman in Idaho.“

Juneau is a small town; everybody knows everyone else,” he adds. “These stories about what she calls blacks and Eskimos, well, anyone not white and good looking actually, were around long before she became a glint in John McCain’s rheumy eyes. Why do I know they’re true? Because everyone who isn’t aboriginal or Indian in Alaska talks that way.”

“Sambo beat the bitch” may be everyday language up in the bush. Whether it – and the outlook, politics and worldview Palin reflects when she says such things in public – should be part of a presidential campaign is another thing altogether. The comment says as much about McCain as it does about Palin, and it says a lot of things about Americans who overlook such statements (as well as her record) and vote anyway for McCain.

by Charley James

Friday, September 5, 2008

More SNCC Genius

I know I said I'm tired. And I still am. But SNCC, a group a veteran civil rights activists, you know, those old "community organizers, brings an insight to present day politics that I just love. Here's some genius from Linda Burhman.

By Linda Burnham

Talk about an election that has had it all: complicated conflicts overrace, gender, age, generational transition, religion and more; all againstthe backdrop of a sinking economy and a couple of raging wars. I didn't think the presidential campaign could get much more interesting than it was during the primaries when a hundred mini-dramas unfolded within the frameof a core narrative that was itself mesmerizing. But it just got more interesting, especially for those who identify as feminists.

Before we had even finished the debate over whether the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin for the Republican vice presidential spot was a desperation move or a master stroke? The desperationists were winning; there've beenno McCain master strokes so far, why expect one this late in the game -- a whole new set of issues hit the table, several of them going to the heartof the feminist agenda.

Palin's decision to accept the vice presidential candidacy while in themidst of a set of challenging family circumstances has turned the spotlightnot only on the right to abortion, pre-marital sex, work/family balance, female ambition in the context of an incomplete feminist revolution, and the heterosexual nuclear family, but on the very meaning of feminism aswell.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans deploy the "intact nuclear family" in powerful, emotionally loaded ways, especially during conventions, whenthe photo ops are plentiful. But it is the Republican Party that has staked out and fiercely defended the family values turf.

And so it is legitimate to ask: What version of family values is represented by exposing a pregnant teenager to relentless national scrutiny, at a time when the scrutiny of the neighbors next door is probably painful enough? Is it time yet to admit that "abstinence only" is a failed policy? And what version of family values is represented by following one's political ambitions onto the rigors and surprises of the campaign trailwith an infant, Down Syndrome or otherwise, in tow? The leave-it-all-to-the-nanny version? Last I checked, infants were infinitely demanding. If the vice presidency is that cushy, I know a whole lot ofwomen (and men) who should be in the running.

Sara Palin is a "Feminist for Life." Is it possible to be a feminist while opposing abortion rights? Millions of women support gender equity but oppose abortion for religious, moral or ethical reasons. Fine. But the right to abortion and to a broad spectrum of reproductive rights is a corner stone of contemporary feminism for good reason. The ability of women to effectively control whether, when and with whom they will have children is fundamental to their equitable integration into social, cultural and political life. It does not do to opportunistically claim the title offeminist while actively organizing against the right to abortion, both domestically and internationally, as Feminists for Life does.

Palin has taken up Clinton's glass ceiling mantra. She's being positioned as the Republican face of feminism: competent, family-centered, anti-abortion and lovely to behold. Mainstream feminism did not acquit itself all that well during the primaries. This brief period between the conventions and the general election presents a new opportunity to reclaim feminism from pretenders and to reassert the relationship between feminism and social justice.

Stay tuned for drama. It looks like it will be a compelling show, all the way up to November 4th.

Register to Vote

Remember How the Republicans Used the Term "Community Organizer" . . .

. . . with such comtempt? According to Prometheus6, here's why:

Neo-Confederate Vocabulary

The Party of the Neo-Confederates has been tossing about the term "community organizer" with disdain. Some of y'all, especially those community organizers among you, have noted the absurdity of hating on people whose job it is to help people.

Ah, but that because you've been fooled again by the fact that Neo-Confederate English uses the same sounds as Standard English while assigning them wholly different meanings. It's like the phonic version of written Chinese.

In this case, what you think means "someone whose job it is to help people" means, to them, "outside agitator."

UPDATED: Yep. Someone forgot to use code and just went ahead and said uppity.

Yes, this is egregious.

Update from therawstory:

WASHINGTON -- A Republican congressman from Georgia who referred to Barack and Michelle Obama as "uppity" says he wasn't aware of the term's racial overtones and did not intend to insult anyone.
That's a pile of bull! He's absolutely lying. Or, at least I hope he's lying. A lying racist has a bit more sense than and idiot racist.

In a statement Friday, Westmoreland - who was born in 1950 and raised in
the segregated South - said he didn't know that "uppity" was commonly used as a
derogatory term for blacks seeking equal treatment. Instead, he referred to the
dictionary definition of the word as describing someone who is haughty, snobbish
or has inflated self-esteem.

"He stands by that characterization and thinks it accurately describes the
Democratic nominee," said Brian Robinson, Westmoreland's spokesman. "He was
unaware that the word had racial overtones, and he had absolutely no intention
of using a word that can be considered offensive."

The Obama campaign had no immediate response.

Westmoreland is one of the most conservative members of Congress. He has
drawn criticism from civil rights advocates on a number of issues, including
last year when he led opposition to renewing the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He also
was one of two House members last year who opposed giving the Justice Department
more money to crack unsolved civil rights killings.
On one hand, I hope he loses his re-election. He's not qualified to be in Congress. Then again, he does help bring attention to the continuing problem.

from Hungry Blues

“Uppity,” That’s Racist for “Kill”
This was written by Benjamin T. Greenberg. Posted on Thursday, September 4, 2008, at 11:10 pm.

US Representative Lynn Westmoreland, a Republican from Georgia, made a very bald appeal to racists to unite against Obama. This wasn’t a private statement caught on a mic he didn’t realize was on. This was a statement for the record, to reporters, in the halls of the United States Congress.

Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.

“Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity,” Westmoreland said.
When asked to clarify, Westmoreland said it again, pretty much to say, you heard me, they’re uppity n—s.

Asked to clarify that he used the word “uppity,” Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”
I bring up the N-word because that is the debased level of rhetoric that the word “uppity” belongs to, especially when a white Southerner is directing it at Blacks.

This is overt racist thuggery. As Ta-Neshi Coates put it:

The worse part is it isn’t vague. Uppity is exactly the term white thugs and terrorists used to use for high-achieving blacks–right before they burned down their neighborhoods and ran them out of town.
I suppose this might seem hyperbolic to some. It is a factual, historically accurate statement.

When I interviewed the children of Samuel O’Quinn, an African American man who was shot dead by a sniper at the gate to his property in Centreville, MS in 1959, they said that the main problem their father had with whites was that he was well educated and successful.

Samuel O’Quinn was a graduate of the Tuskegee Institute—”the highest form of education you could get” at that time, if you were Black, Rance O’Quinn emphasized.

“My mother and father gave away a fortune,” Rance O’Quinn continued. “They gave money to every cause, the building of every church. They bought the bus for the kids to go to school and paid the bus driver to take children to school.”

“That’s why he was hated,” added Phalba O’Quinn Plummer. “They said he was biggity. They would say ‘uppity’ and ‘biggity.’ ‘Biggity’ means too big for his britches.”

Five years after Samuel O’Quinn was murdered, in April 1964, his eldest son, Clarence, was attacked on the Centreville Post Office steps by Chief of Police Bill Ivey. “You damn uppity nigger, you think you own the town,” Ivey said, as he beat O’Quinn with other whites looking on. Clarence O’Quinn’s 94 year old grandmother, mourning the murder of her son Samuel, urged Clarence to leave town. “You have a life worth living; you should not throw it away,” she said. “You have no rights and privileges here.”

“I left Mississippi that same day,” Clarence O’Quinn recalled. “I was humiliated. I was alone. There wasn’t a Black person other than myself that I remember being at that post office, and I felt the evilness that lurked throughout Mississippi and Wilkinson County at that time. The separation from family, from friends was horrible and still is. Many have stood in my shoes and had no place to go.”

“We used to see kids get beat up,” Rance O’Quinn said. “There were lynchings that were never reported. Kids never showed up again. You’d see them in school today; tomorrow you never heard from them and you never would know what happened to them.”

“So and so run away,” his sister Laura O’Quinn Smith added. “That’s all people said. ‘They run away.’”

Lynn Westmoreland’s slur was a conscious evocation of the the racist sentiment that Blacks who refuse to be subservient to whites should be put in their place through violence—beatings, bombings, murder. Westmoreland’s slur is also a call to arms to extremists who would still carry out Klan-style violence. Westmoreland is not fit to govern. I hope his colleagues in Congress are fervently asking for his resignation.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"We Don't Hide from History"

Something real egregious just happened. John McCain claimed that America isn't a country that runs from history, "we make he history," he boasted.

What a lie!

If America didn't run from its history, we wouldn't have such racial and ethnic struggles. Barack Obama wouldn't be the first African American presidential candidate of a national party. If we weren't running from its history, poverty wouldn't be so pervasive. Inner-city neighborhoods would be the social quagmire that it is.

If we didn't run from our history, conservative "Christians" wouldn't be in such a push to force the Old Testament into our legal system.

If we didn't run from our history, we'd stop acting like we're the greatest country in the world and confess to the crimes of humanity we have committed across the world.

If we didn't run from our history, we'd stop electing Republican presidents who continuously make the economy worse for average Americans.

"We don't hide from history," indeed. Well, I guess there is some truth in that. We just outright ignore it.

The only absolutely honest thing he said as that, "Change is coming." Barack Obama will be our next president.

I'm Tired

No, really. I'm tired. With the CFS, that's not unusual.

But I'm tired of politics right now. The Republicans are only lying and deceiving the American people. They're making false claims of sexism and elitism and "raising taxes on everybody." And I can't take it anymore!

The Democrats are hit back a little harder than normal, but between the early morning news and the primetime news, nothing's changed.

And I'm tired. I'm tired of all these problems we're deal with in America that people don't realize has to do with the way the vote. I mean seriously, blaming the problems of the last 8 years on a Congress that's only had 2 years of Democratic control? And the Democrats seem not to have the balls, neither inside or out, to call out Republicans for the obstructionism the way the Republicans called them out every chance they got.

We're dealing with a military-industrial complex (MIC) and a prison-industrial complex (PIC). We spend more money on incarcerating people than educating people. Is it any wonder we're in the shape we're in now? And with the military-industrial complex, is it any surprise everytime you blink, another neo-conservative wants to go to war.

Some tell me honestly, how are our neo-cons any different from the "Islamofascists" they claim pose such a great threat. Hmmm. Someone explain something to me. Seeing as how there are close to if not more than 1billion Muslim in the world, why are we spending so much more trying to fight the relatively few who would do us harm. And they don't hate us for our freedom. They hate us because we're the bully of the world. That's all we do: bully countries, not into being democratic, but into opening their markets to us. Then we our GDP grows, their GDP slumps, and of course there'll be some evil mad man who's will to sell or give away guns to help the angry dispossessed do what they feel is necessary to be heard over the sounds of "ching, ching!"

Check it out. We really don't care about spreading democracy around the world. We've allowed ruthless and bloodthirsty dictators to maintain power so long as they otherwise gave us access to their oil or whatever else they have that we want.

And I'm tired of it. I'm tired of a media consolidated and owned by the very corporations who need the MIC to protect them, not us. Regular Americans aren't in danger. It's the multi-nationals and the governments that protect them that the "terrorists" are upset about.

And the American electorate is too dumb to realize what's going on. BushCo wants every child left behind some when that child grows up, s/he'll be so worried about the mortgage and/or health bills that s/he'll have no choice but to accept what the plutocracy - cause let's be honest, that's really the government we have - tell them. And even if they had time to question, these people who see everything in black and white and think the question of when life begins is clear cut either don't have or aren't using the intellectual capacity to question the world around them. Instead, they snub the ones who speak out as being "anti-American" or "blame America first." People like the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright.

And this whole argument that Sarah Palin is better qualified to be president than Barack Obama because she's had "executive experience" and all he's done is "community organizing," is crap. If my health were any better, I'd be community organizing right now. Community organizing is precisely what Republicans claim to be about: initiative, self-help, personal responsibility. In fact, just as soon as I figure out here, I'm going to head up some community organizing by way of conference phone calling. Watch me do it! And besides, I was the leader of my student Christian organization in college, president of the young adults of my church's Baptist association for 4 years. Does that qualify me to be president? And I had to get things done with no budget! What d'ya think about that Republicans?

And so help me Lord, if those lily white Republicans are using community organizing as some kind of code for "he's really, really black" because community organizing is something you usually associate with social activist groups; or if they're using community organizing for code "organizing=black community=he did do crack, so maybe he used to be and still is a crack dealer," I . . . I don't know what I'll do. I have to be careful about my health. But you can best believe it won't be good.

So to finish this off, don't be surprised if I don't blog for a while, or blog about things in my personal life. I would blog about something now, but just in case the person involved reads this, I don't want this person to know I'm still thinking about our previous conversation. But I swear, this person is so unvain, I could write their name and they still wouldn't know it was about them. It's one of the qualities I love best about this person.

But anyway, but for now and perhaps, for a while. I'm tired.

And I'm tired. So unless something especially egregious happens, or I do extraordinarily well in my fantasy football leagues, I'm taking a break.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Let's Set Some Thing Straight for the Suddenly Feminist Republicans

They claim that the reason they're re-attacking any "sexist" attacks on Sarah Palin because of what they saw done to Hillary Clinton.

Let's set some things straight:
1 - Questioning Palin's experience is no more sexist than questioning Obama's experience. Especially when part of questioning Obama's experience has included convenient amnesia or outright lies.

2 - The problem with sexism vs racism in the Democratic party isn't what the media did or didn't do, it's the racism that came from the Clinton campaign. That's why Hillary had to quote Harriet Tubman in her speech to the convention. It's why Bill had been going around crying like a baby because people thought he was racist.

So let's not like the Republicans try to play this whole racism/sexism split to win the presidency just because they know they'll lose on the issues.

And for you die-hard PUMAs, I've already decided you can vote for McCain. I think you're racist and I really don't care. But for the rest of us Democrats who have the sense God gave ants, don't fall for this Republican talking point about not letting media sexism undo Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin's problem is her inexperience, lack of knowledge, and hypocrisy and judgemental-ism. Period. She could be a man who's 17-year-old son had done the same thing, and we'd be asking the same question.

But while I am discussing racism/sexism, if this was a black woman running for VP who's 17-year-old daughter was pregnant, there's no doubt that the daughter would be labeled a ho and the mother would be labeled a bad mother, if not a ho herself.

Updated: What's Wrong with the White Community? 2

First, it was the rash of pregnant teens in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Then, you had the guy Jim Adkinsson who ended up killing two people even though he planned to kill more at a church's children's production of "Annie."

Then, you had the guy who killed the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party.

Now, you have the daughter of Sarah Palin, vice presidential nominee of the Republican party pregnant at the age of 17. Though, to give her credit, she is planning on marrying the father. Sarah Palin is very pro-life, and wouldn't support abortion even if her daughter had been raped. (That reminds me, I do need to write a post specifically concerning God and issues of life.)

And while I cast no judgement, I do think it's ironic that in every political position she's had, Sarah Palin has been against comprehensive sex education as well as contraception. And shockingly enough, she even slashed funding for housing assistance for teen moms. She's supports abstinence only education which is documented to lead to teens having unsafe sex and leading to unplanned/unwanted pregnancies and so, is a waste of money.

And here's her response to a questionnaire:

In a 2006 gubernatorial questionnaire, Sarah Palin said she would not support
explicit sex-ed programs.
3. Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead
of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?
SP: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.
And for those secularist who hate the "invasion" of faith into politics, here's a Biblical quote you might like: :Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Which essentially mean, be careful of how harshly you judge people because the same thing may happen to you. (That's also for all you "Christian" conservatives who take the Genesis literally but haven't gotten around to more of the "blessed are the meek" parts of the Bible.)

What's next white America? Electing John McCain for president?!

I mean really, white people. Get it together!

Let's Be Honest, Barack Is Kind of a Snob

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mommy Wars

This whole Sarah Palin for VP thing has brought to public discussion something that's usually kept among women: the mommy wars. Who's the better mother? The one who stays home or the one who works?

Now. I was raised by a working mother. Not only was she a teacher, she was into local politics and civil associations. She spent a lot of time in our church's Baptist Association and a Sunday school teacher. I remember when she joined the Rotary Club. She was a member of a group called the "Extension Homemaker's Club." Then, she started the family business. I mean, to make a longer story short, my mother was busy. And there were times when she was home enough. And not so much that I wanted her attention, though, there were times when I did, but more because I just wanted my mother at home with me where I could get to here when I needed her. And because she had always intended on being very involved in lots of other activities, she only had two children. I'm the younger.

My father . . . well, I just be honest. When he wasn't physically absent due to work, he was emotionally absent and sometimes just emotionally unavailable.

Now, looking back on my childhood. I can hardly think of a sporting event she missed either of mine or my brother's. She even attended a few school band and chamber choir concerts. She even attended at least one showing of every play I ever did. One incident I remember was when I had to do a skit for my church's Baptist Association's meeting the same Sunday our pastor was preaching at another church. She came with me to see the skit - and I was marvelous by the way. The pastor, now my former pastor, actually got upset about the fact my mother came with me instead of following her. This pastor is extremely sexist and patriarchal, and actually told my father to get on to my mother for haven chosen to come with me instead of him. At the time, I wanted to hug my mother, but we're not that affection of a family. Of course she was going to chose her child over a man who was probably going to preach a sermon we had already hard before.

As I look ahead to my future and the prospects of having children, as much as I hate the thought of being like my mother, I'll probably be involved in a number of different things myself. It'd be nice if my husband made enough so that I wouldn't have to work, but that aside, I know I'll be busy just like my mother.

So, where do I stand on the issue of the "mommy wars"? I stand with my personal and every woman's personal decision. Being a stay-at-home mother makes you no better than a working mother and visa verse. It's up to the woman and it's nobody decision but hers. And ladies, if you're afraid you intended will want you to work and you want to stay home, or want you to stay home when you want to work, guess what - he's not your intended. The decision is yours and yours alone. The only time when there's an exception is when theirs an issue with the family's financial situation in which case, it should be a joint decision.

Now that that's been said, let's get down to the bottom of the issue. The question is what kind of mother Palin's been, the question is what kind of father her husband's been. Not only did her daughter get pregnant and her baby son has Downs Syndrome, her husband's daughter got pregnant and his baby son has Downs Syndrome, too.

So, the issue with the "mommy wars" isn't really about motherhood. Is it? No. It's about fatherhood. If more fathers were at home and involved with their children, there would be less demand on mothers. And I have no intentions of voting for Palin at all, but there should be no questions about how's she to manage being VP and a mother when the woman has a husband.

In fact, there shouldn't be any so-called "mommy war," there should be a "mother vs father" war. Fathers step up! I know you think providing for your family is enough. I know that may have been all your father did. So what. He was wrong and so are you. Your children need your time and emotional involvement, too. Let me make it perfectly clear: it's babysitting when you're watching someone else kid; when it's your child, it's called being a father!

And I just heard Rachel Maddow quote John McCain saying that Sarah Palin was his "soul mate." I'm telling ya, Cindy better watch out.

And lastly, this whole notion that Palin's more experienced than Obama is false and the argument is wrongheaded. A person's level of experience doesn't guarantee a successful outcome and could make things worse.

Monday, September 1, 2008

This Is Why Black Folks Don't Vote for Republicans,0,3487488.story
No Room At The Table For Black Republicans

August 31, 2008

With stiff upper lips and phony grins, black Republicans are going to the Republican National Convention in Minnesota to be dissed by the party. Many will make believe they are down for Sen. John McCain — too afraid to come out the closet for Obama.

Since the 2000 and 2004 Republican conventions, a lot has changed for African American Republicans. I was a vice chairwoman for Bush in Connecticut, a national co-chairwoman for African Americans for Bush, a surrogate spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee and worked on Latino outreach efforts nationwide. With a number of blacks, I served on various committees to plan events at the Philadelphia and Big Apple conventions. There were rainbow coalitions of interns and delegates. Featured speakers such as Colin Powell, J.C. Watts Jr., Condolezza Rice, black actors and ministers and gospel singers played a role on prime-time television.

Black Republicans had a voice, working in key positions participating in everything from building the Republican Party platform to prayer breakfasts, hosting events and most important, being heard on issues vital to us. George W. Bush was a "new kind of Republican." He desired to show we were a part of the party of Lincoln. But oh, how times have changed.

I've gone from having VIP seats sitting in the Bush family box to having a premier seat on my living room couch in Windsor from which to watch the Republican convention. I will miss the hurrahs, shout-outs, fist pumps and holding up the signs. I will miss talking to the president, his family and so many people who were interested in what was important to African Americans. Real or perceived, there was an effort to engage us.

The 2008 convention has only one African American speaking — a man I personally know and admire, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. He is also the chief black for McCain. However, will he be seen by all on prime-time television?

Black Republican pundits at the convention have tremendous pressure to make negative remarks about Obama — there are well-scripted key message points to keep them in line. One group called the National Black Republican Association purchased 50 billboard ads in Denver to taunt that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican and that Obama is no MLK. In a three-minute video, MLK's niece Alveda King, a Republican, supports this claim. I'm not sure what time she is living in, but in the video she refers to us as Negroes.

To use the King legacy to divide and conquer is a useless tactic to prove one is not "monolithic." It's typical "crabs in a barrel" against Obama. It may be believed that acceptance brownie points will be garnered from white Republicans.

Black Republicans faking to feel included should ask why African American Republican Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, a highly educated, beautiful and successful physician running for the U.S. House in Georgia's 13th Congressional District, can't get support from the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee or the Georgia State Republican Party. Since 2007, according to the Federal Elections Commission, she has raised over $5 millionto try to defeat her white Democratic opponent, incumbent Rep. David Albert Scott. To date, he raised nearly $700,000.

I asked Honeycutt's campaign manager, Michael Murphy,if John McCain has reached out to her or whether anyone of significance from Washington or Georgia is offering help.

He hesitated and gave an embarrassing "No." I then asked him why and he said, "Well ... I don't know. Perhaps when she goes to the convention they will change their minds once they see her."

While I strongly support Barack Obama, there are still so many values in the Republican Party I hold dear. John McCain's website now has a listing for African Americans along with a number of other minority groups, but the truth is that the outreach is only implied.

The 2008 Republican convention and the presidential election should be a wake-up call for black Republicans. In the end, if we choose to support Obama, we should not do it in the dark.

If we choose to support McCain, then we must get the courage to challenge a party that we have allowed to act as if we don't exist.

Yvonne R. Davis of Windsor is a former appointee of President George W. Bush.

Copyright © 2008, The Hartford Courant

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But Don't Jack My Genuis